For 110 years, four generations of Mills family members earned their money by expanding their great-grandfather’s Chicago apron business into a medical supplier that ranked among the nation’s largest private companies.
But soon after Democrats turned their attention toward raising taxes for the wealthy this year, the family signed a deal to cash out billions.
It was no coincidence, according to people close to the more-than $30 billion transaction, which sold part of Medline Industries Inc. to a consortium of Wall Street investors in the health-care industry’s biggest leveraged buyout. The threat of subjecting billions in proceeds to additional capital gains taxes motivated the clan to get it done before the end of 2021, when higher rates could take effect, the people said.
Such maneuvers are suddenly in the works throughout the opaque world of private U.S. corporations, as founders and their offspring discreetly consult tax experts and bankers with a pointed question: How much might they save by selling quickly? [Continue reading…]